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History & Quick Facts:

Formed: Vance County, NC, was formed in 1881 from parts of Granville, Franklin and Warren counties; in short, anyone born prior to 1881 was not born in Vance County, although they may have been born in an area that would become Vance;

73 percent of Vance was previously Granville County (predominantly the western part of present Vance)
27 percent of Vance was previously Warren & Franklin counties (the eastern and southern portions of Vance)

Neighbors: Vance County is bounded by:

external links(external links; use browser "back" button to return to NCVance):
on the north by: Mecklenburg County, VA

on the east by: Warren County, NC

on the west by: Granville Co NC

on the south by: Franklin Co, NC

Named for: Zebulon Baird Vance (b1830 - d1894),
former NC governor, state legislator, congressional representative and US senator. Zeb Vance was from Buncombe County and never lived in Vance or any of its parent counties.
Vance County was nicknamed "Zeb's Black Baby."
Details on this naming and nickname are found
on the "name" page.

County seat: Henderson

Population:

in 1890: total 17,581 persons; 3,266 families;
1,411 farms (avg size farm = 110 acres)
in 1900: total 16,684 persons; 3,166 families;
1,680 farms (avg size farm = 89.1 acres)

[source: US Historical Census Data Browser at Library of Virginia]

in 2000: total 42,954 persons; 18,196 housing units [source: US Census Bureau]

Parent Counties:
While Granville, Warren and Franklin are the "immediate" parent counties of Vance, those counties also had parents. For research purposes, the "parents" of Vance County are best determined by the following formation timeline:

1881: Vance was formed from parts of Granville, Franklin & Warren counties

1779: new counties of Franklin & Warren were formed from the abolished county of Bute

1764: Bute County (abolished in 1779) was formed from Granville; *most Bute Co records are filed with Warren County.

1746: Granville County was formed from Edgecombe County

1741: external linkEdgecombe County was formed from Bertie County

1722: external linkBertie County was formed from Chowan County

1668: external linkChowan was formed as early as 1668 as "Shaftesbury Precinct" of Albemarle Conty. Renamed Chowan Precinct about 1685.

1664: Albemarle County was formed consisting of "all that parte of the province [of Carolina] which lyeth on the north east side or starboard side entering of the river Chowan now named by us Albemarle river together with the Islands and Isletts within tennn leagues thereof." By 1668, Albemarle County was divided into Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, and Perquimans precincts for the purposes of local administration. Albemarle County, the superior administrative unit of Carolina, ceased to be recognized as a unit of government in 1689..." [today, that area of North Carolina is still referred to as the "Albemarle Region."]

tipTip: Details of all NC county formations are available on the web site of the State Library of North Carolina.

--source for county formation timeline:
The Formation of North Carolina Counties 1663-1943,
by David Leroy Corbitt, published by the Division of Archives & History, NC Dept of Cultural Resources


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